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Hurricanes

Maurice would love to get win against former team

Posted January 14, 2009
Updated January 15, 2009

The Toronto media have already descended on the Triangle, and Canadian reporters are lining up to interview Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice.

That’s because Thursday, Maurice will face the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time since the organization fired him after the 2007-08 season. The media attention Maurice faces leading up the game reminds him of the intense scrutiny he faced every day while coaching the Leafs.

“It’s a different animal,” Maurice said Wednesday. “That captain of our team was on TV more than the prime minister of Canada. That’s how much coverage that team gets.”

When asked if he missed that attention, Maurice laughed and said, “Not for a minute.”

Maurice did miss the playoffs both years he coached in Toronto. So facing a three-year postseason drought, the organization decided to rebuild last year. The Leafs fired Maurice and general manager John Ferguson Jr.

“Clearly, we had some issues,” Maurice said. Referring to himself, he added, “Some coach came out and said he thought they would make the playoffs and challenge [for the Stanley Cup].”

As Maurice takes the reigns in Raleigh for a second time, he believes the pressure to win with the Hurricanes is greater than it currently is in Toronto.

“Now, [the Maple Leafs] are in a rebuilding phase,” Maurice said. "The wins and losses aren’t monitored the same way as they are right here [in Carolina], so I like working here.”

The Hurricanes own a 21-18-5 record and sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Maple Leafs are 16-21-6 and are a distant fourth in the Northeast Division.

Still, Maurice admits the Thursday matchup means more than most games. He claims he wanted nothing to do with coaching for several months after he was fired in Toronto.

“The right thing to say is that it’s just two points,” Maurice said, “but when I was coaching Toronto, I wanted to beat Carolina real bad.”

And now?

“I’d like to beat Toronto real bad,” he said with a grin. “I’d love to win that game.”

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  • wcomdave Jan 15, 2009

    I am still reeling from "Black Saturday": Pack loses to Clemson in hoops, Canes lose to Bruins, then Panthers lose to Cardinals. Canes and Wolfpack have yet to win since. Looks like no NCAA tourney for Pack and definitely no playoffs for Canes. What has happened to the Canes???

  • kornisgreat Jan 14, 2009

    Yeah man me 2 its just horrible i don't know what to think i'm a canes fan and a pack fan so i'm really in a hole right now i am also a carolina panthers fan made sure i got carolina in there.

  • Bill987 Jan 14, 2009

    Sorry Mo, but I'm not holding my breath. I really, really want the 'Canes to win, too, but the way things have looked lately, I'm not optimistic.

    Losing to the Panthers and the Sens in less than one week? That's embarrassing and I expect a bleak turnout tomorrow night.

    I'm still a fan, but a heartbroken one. Yet again.

  • kornisgreat Jan 14, 2009

    I'd love to get a win period!!!. lol GO CANES

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